18 junio, 2024

Parts of a magazine and its characteristics

The parts of a magazine The main ones are the title page, cover pages, table of contents, imprint, letter from the editor, articles, and back. A magazine is a periodical publication of content -articles and interviews especially-, accompanied by advertising, horoscopes, and thousands of creative ways of representing information.

Some of the most famous international magazines are Time, Forbes, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Motor Trend, The New Yorker, Marie Claire, among others.

A great way to share your own vision is through a magazine. To make a magazine, all you need to do is create meaningful content around a strong theme that appeals to a specific market, then organize that content into an attractive design and publish it digitally or through print.

Even one person can make a handmade magazine, or use software to design and print a professional-quality magazine.

In general, today’s magazines follow the same structure and although there are magazines that do not, this approach is default. It is a reference point that can be modified in many ways for the needs of each particular publication.


Main parts of magazines

Magazines consist of seven parts: the front page, cover pages, table of contents, imprint, letter from the editor, articles, and back.

– Front page

This is the first page of the magazine, so in some ways it is the most important. It’s never too early to start thinking about what might make a good cover photo.

Most publishers use an image related to an important feature to be developed within the magazine.

– Cover Pages

They come after the cover, they are usually made of the same material as the cover and in almost 100% of the cases they are advertisements. The second page of the cover is reserved for advertising. This is the second most expensive ad page.

The third cover page is again reserved for advertisers and is the third most expensive ad page in the magazine.

The last cover page is at the back of the magazine and is the most expensive ad page.

– Advertisements

In addition to the price of the magazine, the companies that sell them make money from advertising. Normally the ads are related to the theme of the magazine; If, for example, it is a Formula 1 magazine, there could be advertisements for cars or motorcycles.

They usually occupy a large part of the issue, in many cases up to 60% of the content of the magazine. They stand out for being impressive images in full color.

Ads are usually placed on the odd numbered pages (the ones on the right), as the reader tends to be the first thing they see. In turn, they can be double-sided, being a more spectacular format but also more expensive.

– Table of Contents/Index/Summary

After many pages of announcements, the table of contents serves as a quick breakdown of how the magazine is organized. It is especially useful when a reader is intrigued by the cover and wants to read more, to flip through the content and easily find the article they were looking for.

The table of contents can be designed with or without margins, but it is important to distinguish the content elements so that the reader can understand what the page number is, the title of the topic, and a brief description of the topic if they wish to include it. A good typographical choice is crucial in this part.

In some cases, the arrangement of this element can be really creative, with photographs or illustrations and a typography that is very attractive for reading.

– Imprint/ Contributors/ Writers

This is the part of the magazine that is normally placed at the front of the book, although some magazines place it at the back.

Imprint or «masthead» is the list of all the people who work in the magazine. From the newsroom to marketing, sales, advertising people, to editors and key people in the publishing house that is producing the magazine.

The design of this page is quite simple and clean. The logo is usually placed at the top of this page.

– Letter from the editor(s)

It is the first editorial page of the magazine. It is a welcome letter from the editor-in-chief in which he explains the content of the topic.

It depends on the style of the publication and the journalistic voice of the editor. It basically covers the main topics, but it may also contain some reflections on the topics that this magazine covers in general.

It is usually one page and includes an image related to the post or the publisher(s).

– Articles

This is the bulk of the magazine. There is no specific length for the articles, and they can be brief and occupy half a page or be extensive and cover up to ten pages.

In fact, when the magazine is organized, there are usually short and long articles. For example, a five page article may be followed by a two page article instead of another five page article. This improves the reading rate of the magazine.

The layouts related to these pages are where designers have the most freedom, although a certain style of the post must be adhered to.

It is important to affirm that each article must be visibly different from the other because the reader can get confused if he does not know where one ends and another begins.

– Back

This part of the magazine contains the remaining content, shorter articles, news, listings, remaining columns and horoscope. Again, just like the beginning of the magazine, this part of the magazine follows a rigid structure and the layout is hardly changed.

In general, so-called “classified” ads can be found here. Smaller ads, 1/4 of a page to 1/16 of a page, are grouped together and placed on these pages.

Depending on the nature of the magazine, the last page is reserved for a columnist, a short essay, a short interview, or some similar laid-back content.

– Others

Some magazines may include giveaways to attract readers. For example, magazines dedicated to computers or videogames may include CD’s with demo software/games; fashion magazines samples of cologne or sunglasses; the health ones offer sun creams and those dedicated to literature or history bring mini books on a specific subject.


Nikola. (2013). “Structure of the Magazine”. Retrieved from magazinedesigning.com.
WikiHow Editorial Team. (2017). “How to make a Magazine”. Retrieved from wikihow.com.
Casson, V. (2012). “Magazine conventions and terminology”. Retrieved from es.slideshare.net.
Macmillan English Dictionary – a free English dictionary online. (2016). “Types of newspaper or magazine”. Retrieved from macmillandictionary.com.
Nikola. (2013). Elements of a Magazine Page. Retrieved from magazinedesigning.com.
Permunian, K. (2016). “What are the main parts of a magazine cover? How is a magazine cover designed? Retrieved from quora.com.

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